Harestock is currently one of two primary schools in Winchester that have embraced, and are realising, the benefits of ‘Young Interpreters.
The Hampshire Young Interpreter Scheme at Harestock Primary School provides peer support to pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language. It can be a powerful tool to develop community cohesion and empathy amongst English speakers towards some of the challenges and difficulties that pupils new to English face. Harestock recognises the huge potential that exists within the school community for pupils of all ages to use their language skills and knowledge to support new learners of English so that they feel safe, settled, valued and part of the school community as soon as possible. This can be very reassuring from a parent’s point of view when their child is adapting to substantial changes.
Thirteen monolingual and bilingual pupils representing the diversity of languages spoken at Harestock were nominated by their teachers to participate in a challenging five week training program.
Our interpreters are now trained to show families who share the same home language around the school. They are available to buddy up with new arrivals during their first few weeks, familiarise them with school routines and be on hand to support staff when experiencing difficulties communicating with pupils and their families.